The Food and Drug Administration yesterday authorized the first coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in children ages 12 to 15, reports the Washington Times.
“This is a promising development in our fight against the virus. If you are a parent who wants to protect your child, or a teenager who is interested in getting vaccinated, today’s decision is a step closer to that goal,” Joe Biden said.
Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said, “parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data.”
Pfizer claimed its two-shot vaccine was 100% effective in protecting against COVID-19 in a trial of more than 2,200 children between the ages of 12 and 15.
However, all research findings, in both Israel and around the world, show that, unlike adults, children are at a very low risk of contracting COVID-19—lower than the risk from ordinary winter viruses. “The information available shows that children are a very minor risk to adults (certainly to those adults who have been vaccinated). On the other hand, there are serious gaps in our knowledge regarding the safety of the vaccine, especially over the long term,” said Israel’s Public Emergency Council regarding the shot for children.
“Given this situation, the professional position of the Public Emergency Council is that the use of the vaccine should not be extended to children under the age of 16, at least until sufficient solid information about its safety—including long-term safety—has accumulated. Exceptions to this rule should be clearly defined (e.g., children at risk or parents who choose to vaccinate their children (and have received both a comprehensive explanation and an informative leaflet and have given their signed informed consent).”